anddddd 2022…

before the ball drops, we’re reflecting on the power of movement in new york city. this month, we caught up with a fierce female foursome of artists who shared their creative process (it’s all about authenticity). then we hopped over to bk for some #lovethybodega snacks and combo packs of our tasty cans (perfect for screening a grit’n’glam, down’n’out 80s movie about nyc’s waning punk days). and while it might be chilly out yonder,  we’re warming you up with some fresh beats on rockaway radio. 

 

our new year motto: onward and upward!


MELISSA RAMIREZ + KAYA GARCIA VASQUEZ

BRONX GIRLS SKATE

Melissa Ramirez and Kava Garcia Vasquez are co-founders of Bronx Girls Skate (est 2020) and dedicated to celebrating and growing the women’s skate community in The Bronx and beyond.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

Bronx Girls Skate:  Both of us are from The Bronx, NY. Mel’s family is from Mexico and Kava’s family is from the Dominican Republic. 

ROCKAWAY: When did you learn how to skate? BGS: We were both exposed to skating as teenagers, but started getting more involved with the community and grew serious about our progress within the past 4-5 years.

ROCKAWAY: Where are your favorite places to skate in NY?

BGS: There are tons of great skateparks in NYC, but our current favorites are 157 (River Avenue) and Playground 134 skate park in the Bronx, Blue Park in Brooklyn, and LES skate park in Manhattan. We don’t go to Queens often but we love love love the skatepark at Beach 90th in the Rockaways!

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about skating and how do you get into the flow?

BGS:  In a world obsessed with image, skating helps us connect with how our bodies feel, not just how they look. To get into the flow, we listen to music, cruise and work on our good tricks until we break a sweat, then start trying new tricks on different obstacles once our bodies are warmed up. Overall, skateboarding teaches us patience and resilience while strengthening our mind-body connection. 

ROCKAWAYWhat's your advice to someone who wants to learn to skate for the first time?

BGS: Skate everywhere you go, as often as you can. To the bodega, the laundromat, school, work... the more time you spend on your board, the more quickly you'll develop style, comfort, and flow!

ROCKAWAY: What’s your motto for 2022? BGS: You only live once (YOLO) - stop doubting yourself and go for it! Our mission statement is: "BronxGirlsSkate celebrates and grows the women's skateboarding scene in the Bronx and beyond."


SHANA SADEGHI-RAY

ARTIST

Shana Sadeghi-Ray is a Brooklyn-based artist and multimedia designer who uses collecting to inform her work.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

SSR: I was born in Boston, MA but have lived in Brooklyn, NY for over 11 years now.

ROCKAWAY: When did you become an artist and what inspires your work now?

SSR: I’ve been an artist my whole life. I’ve always felt the need to create. Literally everything inspires my work. I am constantly collecting imagery and information to use when necessary. When it’s time to make work, I dig up these pieces and fit them together with each other. 

ROCKAWAY: What kind of visual diet did you have as a kid?

SSR: I watched a lot of cartoons and how-to arts and craft shows. I collected stuffed animals and dolls and was immersed in mall culture.  

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about color and storytelling through graphics?

SSR: Color naturally emits a feeling, generating an emotional connection or reaction from the creator and the viewer. I primarily start working by going with my intuition. I don’t typically enter with a story in mind but reflecting on the finished piece I can see the story my subconscious placed within. 

ROCKAWAY: How do you balance work and play?

SSR: I think when you can turn your work into play you’ve figured it out. Graphic design and art making for me is play. Constantly trying different variations feels like solving a puzzle. That being said, not all play is fun and can be frustrating at times, but it allows you a certain amount of freedom to explore. 

ROCKAWAY: What are your favorite NYC spots?

SSR: The Mignone Hall of Gems and Minerals is my latest obsession and I try to go once a month. I like to go to Chinatown (NYC, Flushing, Sunset Park) for inspiration. For toys, I frequent Bookoff and the basement of 15 Elizabeth St. 

ROCKAWAY: What’s your motto for 2022?

SSR: Have empathy for others and remember to live in the present. 


AMY STEIN

PHOTOGRAPHER

Former NY’er Amy Stein is a photographer and teacher based in Los Angeles. Her work explores our evolving isolation from community, culture, and the environment.  Her work has been featured at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

ROCKAWAY: Where are you from?

AS: Washington, DC.

ROCKAWAY: When did you start taking photographs and what caught your eye from an early age?

AS: I became a photographer in my early 30s. Initially I photographed obvious colorful stuff. Simple ideas, simple execution. Eventually I trained my eye and brain to seek out more complex ideas and concepts. I still love color but also love muted overcast skies. 

ROCKAWAY: What are your favorite NYC spots?

AS: Coney Island and Central Park. 

ROCKAWAY: How did your superhero series in Harlem come about?

AS: I lived in Spanish Harlem from 2000 until 2006. One Halloween I went out for a walk and saw the most amazing scene of local kids trick or treating along the boulevards going from store to store. I ran up to my apartment and grabbed my camera. Even though I shot that series for five years, the best images were made that first night. 

ROCKAWAY: What do you love about photography -- how do you get into the flow? 

AS: I love photographing people I don’t know under intense conditions. For example, for my Stranded series it really focuses the mind. 

ROCKAWAY:  What's your advice to someone who wants to learn how to take a picture? 

AS: Take two steps forward, get closer than you think you have to. Literally and metaphorically. 

ROCKAWAY: What is your motto for 2022? 

AS: Try new things and help others. 

#lovethybodega :

 

HAN’S MARKET

Since 2010, this compact BK Heights market has been a one-stop shop for tasty bagels, hearty lunch sammies (with Boars Head meat), chips and cookies alongside fridges stocked with juice, beer and Rockaway (we’re pretty stoked to find all four of our flavors). Added bonus to the super friendly staff and freshly blended smoothies.

Addy : 51 Clark St, Brooklyn, NY 11201


NOW SHOWING ON LOOP:

 

SMITHEREENS,1982

 

“Everyone’s a little weird these days. It’s normal.” -Wren

After ditching New Jersey, teen girl Wren comes to downtown Gotham with a mission to become rock n’ roll famous. Shot on 16mm film by Susan Seidelman, you’ll find gritty, lo-fi vibes and an indie soundtrack by the Feelies. You’ll also feel the hustle of young dreamers doing what it takes to make it in life and love. Also: that New Wave street fashion (think plastic miniskirts, fishnets and red high-top Chuck Taylors).


ROCKAWAY RADIO

 

 

@djtanknyc sneaks one in before the new year :

good f*ing bye 2021



founder freestyle flow :

looking forward to a sick 2022, let’s get it!!

a thought : pay more attention to your mental health this year - it’s been a wild few years. the effects on society have been truly palpable. put down the phone. pick up your head. smile. laugh. dance. move. meet up with friends (safely). stop reading the f*ing news. limit social media. stop saying the ‘c’ word. re-wire that brain back onto it’s pre 2020 course. sending mad love and good energy out into these ethers.

rock on. x b

where the streets meet the beach. @drinkrockaway